Home Tech Asus’ Zenbook 14 OLED is another good Windows laptop under $1,000

Asus’ Zenbook 14 OLED is another good Windows laptop under $1,000

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Back view of a partially open slim black laptop

the march of Lower-cost laptops that offer some measure of AI-focused tuning continue with the Asus Zenbook 14 OLED, the latest in a line of ultralight, no-nonsense and affordable laptops that’s been available for more than a decade. Like the Acer Swift Go 14, the Asus Zenbook 14 (model UM3406HA) hits the market at a price comfortably under $1,000. But unlike the Swift Go, the Zenbook is based on AMD’s latest Ryzen CPU. Among other questions, I was curious to see how the two directly compare.

Acer and Asus laptops have more than a little in common. Both have 14-inch touch screens with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels, 16 GB of RAM and integrated graphics. The Zenbook has a more basic 512GB solid-state drive compared to the Acer’s 1 terabyte model, but the biggest difference is the CPU, an AMD Ryzen 7 8840HS from the Asus instead of Acer’s Intel Core Ultra 7.

Photography: Asus

Walk around the laptop and you’ll also see a considerably less equipped line of ports. Two USB-C ports (one USB 4, one USB 3.2; one is used for charging), a single USB-A port, and a full-size HDMI output are your connectivity options, all in all a clear step down from what you’d expect. Acer has. offer. Again, all the ports here are side-mounted, as the screen design causes the rear edge of the LCD to cover the back of the chassis when the screen is opened.

The aluminum frame feels much sturdier than what you typically find in this price range, but I wasn’t in love with the overall design. It’s all black with a lid etched with seemingly random lines, creating a messy geometric pattern that looks increasingly ripped from the ’80s the more you look at it.

I like the keyboard, which is compact but thoughtfully designed and offers decent key travel, including a Copilot key and functional half-height arrow keys. The keyboard backlight is discreet. The touchpad is large but just barely gets too big; My palms tended to rub the corners when typing, but fortunately this did not negatively affect the user experience. Harman Kardon speakers are loud and offer plenty of range for any entertainment need.

Photography: Asus

The big question is performance and I’m happy to report that compared to the Acer Swift Go, the two laptops achieved similar results. In some tests, the Zenbook would score moderately higher, in others, the crown would go to Acer. Quite a few benchmarks had results that were functionally identical, including big ones like PCMark 10which measures the performance of core applications.

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